Mumbai: Bad road condition, potholes blamed for mishap of double decker bus | Mumbai News


MUMBAI: The possibility of bad road conditions, including huge potholes, leading to the mishap of a double decker bus on Friday cannot be ruled out, officials said.
A double decker bus met with a mishap on Santacruz-Chembur Link Road near Kurla on Friday when one of its front wheel axle broke and the wheel came off. The passengers, however, escaped unhurt due to the driver applying brakes on time. Preliminary inquiry shows bad road condition was the cause of the accident. “The mishap could have been disastrous had the bus been plying at high speed. But the bus was at a lower speed and the driver heard a loud noise as the axle broke and applied the brakes,’‘ an official said.
The bus was plying commuters between Andheri and Kurla on route number 332 during morning peak hour (9.30 am). BEST spokesperson Manoj Varade said that there is an inquiry being conducted to find out the cause. “On inquiry, the bus driver said that while turning the bus, the front wheel came out. Since wheel axles go through a lot of pressure, especially at the time of turning, the stub axle broke due to sudden impact on the wheel due to a big pothole,” the PRO said, adding that the matter was taken up with the authorities for ‘bad road condition.’
A source from BEST engineering department said the front axle is made of forged steel and unless there is a huge impact from external factors, including potholes and bad road conditions, it doesn’t get damaged easily. The source further said that a final call will be taken on whether to repair the bus and get it back on the road or to keep it at the depot if its lifespan expires in a few months. “We will have to check when is the last date for running this bus on city roads. Some of the double deckers are expiring their life span this year,’‘ he said.
This bus was among the 120 double deckers which were plying across Mumbai with more capacity — 45 passengers and 5 standees per bus and were catering to office-goers in east west corridor and along Western and Eastern Express highways.
The decision to scrap buses was taken in November last year, when BEST announced that it will scrap 1,063 buses from its fleet, including 870 old single-decker diesel and 120 single-decker CNG buses, in 16 months. It also included scrapping of 72 double deckers gradually which will reduce the fleet of the popular twin deck buses to 48 in Mumbai.
While the administration wants to replace the buses with single decker buses as the maintenance costs of a double decker is high, a few BEST committee members say they will ‘ensure that double deckers are replaced with double deckers only.’

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